All Things Medieval

Medieval Trader Character

My latest post may have given the feeling that I don’t love developing medieval scenes or having elements of a bygone world in my stories. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some of my favorite elements in fantasy include healers, minstrels, Wanderers, craft guilds of every sort, apothecaries. In my fantasy series, Braided Dimensions, I have magical stitchery and hedge witchy characters. Thinking about this led me to pull out some of my research notes for the books. I delighted in finding factual material and then weaving it into scenes that feel real. I also loved searching for old Welsh words and phrases. For instance, “derwydd” (oak-seer) is where the word “druid” comes from. The name Awenydd (Welsh, “ah-wen’-ith”) means “inspired one.”

Early on, I wrote, “What my novel does is make a world that’s a good fantasy for those who might want to picture themselves as sort of scholar/witch/druidess, who can both live her life now, in modern time, while regaining the flavor of ancient times.”  I imagined women identifying with it, not realizing that men would just as much place themselves in the tales, imagining themselves as the Free Bard, Baird, who while humbly denying he has magical abilities, nevertheless travels through time when those he loves need him to do so. He thinks nothing of his ability to read minds, considers it a normal vehicle for intimacy.

One of my greatest pleasures in writing the series was producing the trip to the Winter Faire. This was an opportunity to impart the flavor, sounds, smells, sights, of an ancient era. Tents with secret panels, fascinating booths, secret hand signs between Wanderers, bardic performances, all create an atmosphere I relished making.

I don’t lean toward swordplay and royalty, even when I place my characters in castles. I tend toward the lives of the hired help which have been so uncelebrated. My previous post gives other indie authors’ views on what makes a fantasy character epic. Their books are available for you to read in the newsletter promo below.


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